, Volume 77, Issue 4, pp 544–549

Effect of CO2 enrichment and nitrogen availability on resource acquisition and resource allocation in a grass, Bromus mollis


  • Anne Larigauderie
    • Systems Ecology Research GroupSan Diego State University
  • David W. Hilbert
    • Systems Ecology Research GroupSan Diego State University
  • Walter C. Oechel
    • Systems Ecology Research GroupSan Diego State University
Original Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF00377272

Cite this article as:
Larigauderie, A., Hilbert, D.W. & Oechel, W.C. Oecologia (1988) 77: 544. doi:10.1007/BF00377272


The effects of CO2 enrichment on the growth, biomass partitioning, photosynthetic rates, and leaf nitrogen concentration of a grass, Bromus mollis (C3), were investigated at a favorable and a low level of nitrogen availability. Despite increases in root: shoot ratios, leaf nitrogen concentrations were decreased under CO2 enrichment at both nitrogen levels. For the low-nitrogen treatment, this resulted in lower photosynthetic rates measured at 650 μl/l for the CO2-enriched plants, compared to photosynthetic rates measured at 350 μl/l for the non-enriched plants. At higher nitrogen availability, photosynthetic rates of plants grown and measured at 650 μl/l were greater than photosynthetic rates of the non-enriched plants measured at 350 μl/l. Water use efficiency, however, was increased in enriched plants at both nitrogen levels. CO2 enrichment stimulated vegetative growth at both high and low nitrogen during most of the vegetative growth phase but, at the end of the experiment, total biomass of the high and low CO2 treatments did not differ for plants grown at low nitrogen availability. While not statistically significant, CO2 tended to stimulate seed production at high nitrogen and to decrease it at low nitrogen.

Key words

Bromus mollisCO2 enrichmentBiomass partitioningPhotosynthesisLeaf nitrogen concentration

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988